my 9 mth old has a sore on his tail, he keeps licking it, what could it be & how is it treated?

german shepard/boxer mix, 9 months old, has a history of moderate/servere skin problems, antibiotics/steroids have not helped in the past. the sore is about an inch & a half in diameter,& its causing some pretty bad hair loss. it kind of oozes pus & foreign liquids from his pores. need answers ASAP. he has been tested negative for dermatitis, & the vet has ruled out hotspots. we havent left him alone lately, but we just took him on vacation with us last week, & he was playing in the shallows of the gulf of mexico.we came home saturday. it was perfectly fine, we really seemed to notice it sunday. i washed it with antibacterial shampoo & put an antiseptic on it, but he chewed off the wrapping after a few hours & wass running like mad as if his tail was on fire.

Asked by chewy on Aug 11th 2009 in Skin Problems
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Sounds awful! Sassy has itchy skin and has had hot spots but the vet can fix her right up. If your vet cannot help get to a specialist. You need to find out the reason for the itchiness. Treating the symptom isn't working! I never had any improvement with home made solutions.

Sassy answered on 8/11/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You have to keep him from licking it even if that means an E-collar. It needs to be cleaned, have antibiotic/antiseptic on it. I have been treating my rescue with Benedryl for the itch and Bag Balm to sooth and heal. It's antiseptic and safe if he licks it.
I think you need to address why he has skin problems rather than trying to give medications after it gets bad. Allergies manifesting as hot spots or dermatitis, caused by food, pollen, carpet and bedding are frequently the cause. Parasites are another cause, but they are easier to test for so you would know. Another possibility is anxiety/self mutilation. My Sister's Black Labrador, Cricket, chews her tail if she' feeling neglected. She has a spot midway down her tail that is ragged, brownish or missing fur because of her chewing it.
Anxiety can be help with lots of leash walks, training for patience, a structured day, and relaxation therapy. Yes, I have taught dogs to learn to relax. Massage works!

Cricket answered on 8/11/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


In mexico there is a whole new type of bacterias I would have kept it covered completely on vacation.
I think antiseptic is going to burn like fire that is not a good thing to apply.
I would put water on it and get the antiseptic off that will also make his skin very red and inflamed.
After rinsing with water let air dry and apply one thin layer of neosporin. Then just don't keep applying. See if you can get it to dry up on it's own. Don't let flies get on it, especially blow flies. That way you can avoid maggot from the flies. What is the dog eating? maybe try Solid gold puppy food for now. Don't allow the dog to also chew on it, go to petco and buy a plastic head collar used in vet's office to keep him from getting to his tail. The vet should be doing this, so I would get him there especially if there is puss. The dog pup, has a serious infection if it has progressed maybe part of his tail has to be amputated?? not sure, but a vet is your sure answer. good luck.

Dieta answered on 8/12/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Hi Chewy!

I also have sensitive skin, and am prone to allergies. Before my humans changed my diet, I would get hot spots, and was starting to lose some of the fur on my tail. They changed my diet to eliminate corn, wheat, soy, gluten, beet pulp, and chicken, and my skin improved a lot.

They also started wiping my feet and fur down with a damp washcloth after walks, to reduce the pollen, dust, and other allergens that might be clinging to me.

A lot of vets neglect to look at diet as a cause of skin problems, but talk to your vet about trying an elimination diet. You start with a low-allergen meat, like lamb, and a single vegetable, like sweet potato, and feed for a week to see if it clears up. Then you can slowly add other ingredients back in. If preparing food for your dog is not practical for you, look for a single-source protein dog food. Go to for details on ingredients.

Check out the Dogster forums on feeding, too. Good luck!

Katie answered on 8/24/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer